The (racist) “backdrop of history”

Published on Author VA5

In explicitly basing its decision on this “backdrop of history,” the court implicitly embraced the dark racial history that McAuliffe sought to overcome. By grounding its ruling on the precedent of many governors whose overt motivations were limiting African-American participation in elections, the court put itself in the position of affirming that dark history, and sending a disheartening message to the black citizens of this commonwealth.

Hill column: Va. Supreme Court decision rooted in a dark past

The Commonwealth of Virginia, like the country as a whole, has a difficult and troubling history that has been easier to ignore or sanitize than to face squarely. On July 22, 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia struck down Governor McAuliffe’s order that restored civil rights to more than 200,000 Virginians who had completed their criminal sentences.